Indian Canyon Neighborhood Tour
Modernism Week 2024 Highlights

Indian Canyons has one of the largest number of mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs, and has participated in the neighborhood tour of homes since its inception.

ICNOs Modernism tour is a large job and takes a group of dedicated people to talk to homeowners and secure 6-8 tour homes, find 60+ volunteers to serve as docents in our tour homes, and manage the communication required to sell more than 400 tickets.  A huge thank you to all of the volunteers that supported our modernism 2024, and especially our Chairman and Board Committee leaders, Mark Gold and Thomas Sims.

605 E Sierra Way

When the current owner purchased this 1967 house, its identity was confused at best, not knowing why it was called a Tuscan Villa while having southwestern motifs and a Hollywood bar theme. Soffits came below one’s eyebrows, a kitchen sink and refrigerator had to be hunted for.

Seeing beyond its superficial flaws was the spectacular view that made the property immensely desirable, along with reasonably high ceilings and good unobstructed wall space, necessary to showcase an art collection acquired by the owner during a career in contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum.

A total gut rearrangement of spaces transformed the home immediately into to a light-filled, open, flowing space devoid of ill-placed walls, room dividers, and dark Victorian decor, and now capable of housing the owner’s contemporary art.

The renovation included an updated, inviting entryway, new tile floors throughout, an all-new kitchen framed by a serving counter with barstools for casual gathering, bedrooms that opened to the pool area, ensuite totally remodeled bathrooms, and an expansive backyard with dramatic mountain and golf course views.

1212 E Sierra Way

Casa Colibri, a house of pure architecture and one of Indian Canyon’s most iconic homes, was built, in 1977, by developer Richard Morreale and designed by architect Harold (Hal) Lacy who was assisted by James Cioffi. The house’s multiple levels recall the work of modernist architect Paul Rudolph.

A long, arcaded, marble walkway, and lush tropical foliage welcome you. The main floor unveils a primary suite with breathtaking mountain views, two guest bedrooms, and an open-concept kitchen and dining area. A wet bar complements the space, offering seating for six. The family room, complete with a large-screen TV, provides a cozy retreat, while a formal dining area and outdoor gas grill cater to various dining preferences.

Descending to the lower level, a double-height great room with a soaring gas fireplace and modern sofas sets the stage for entertainment. The covered outdoor dining table and fountain create an enchanting atmosphere for a romantic meal.

For an Old Hollywood experience, ascend to the upper-level media room in the loft, featuring a modern sectional sofa, large-screen TV, and access to a deck with views of the yard, main floor, pool, and mountains.

Outside, manicured desert gardens invite you to savor the desert air and enjoy the pool, hot tub, and fire pit for refreshing morning laps, relaxation, and social gatherings. As the sun sets, the “bird’s nest” roof deck at the very top of the house provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of Palm Springs and the desert landscape, completing the allure of Casa Colibri.

1350 E Murray Canyon

Built in 1969, this stunning home was designed by architect Harold L. (Hal) Lacy and built by Paul Butler. The 4,422 sq. ft. home has 5 bedrooms (including one converted to a home office) and 5-1/2 bathrooms. With a rare two-level design and a front-loaded pool, the home has the feel of a private resort compound.

Jazz and pop music singer Keely Smith, who was a Sinatra pal and partner of Louis Prima, and her husband and manager Bobby Milano owned the home in the late 1970s. The screening room on the lower level gives the house a Hollywood vibe.

Purchased by the current owner in 2007, the home was completely renovated by Christopher Kennedy and Art House in 2015. The design features an Italian modern kitchen from Aran Cucine, Cosentino counters, plumbing fixtures by Kohler, and many other mid-century contemporary elements.

With extensive solar panels, desert landscaping, LED lighting, ceiling fans and a fruit, vegetable, and herb garden, the home is a model of sustainability.

The layout truly blurs the lines between inside and outside living with stunning views of the Indian Canyons Golf Resort North Course, the iconic Disney fountain and the surrounding mountains.

2370 Alhambra Drive

The history of 2370 Alhambra Drive can be likened to a spiraling helix that changes over time but comes back to its original essence. Surrounded by glorious mountain views, the house was designed by architect Harold (Hal) Lacy and built by Boris Gertzen in 1964 and heavily remodeled in 2000 into a lodge-style home.

The current residents bought the house in 2021 and set out to restore its mid-century modern identity. Deeming the project less a renovation – more a retro-vation; a year-long overhaul took flight in 2022. Replacing an opaque laminate outdoor front wall with Town Square breeze block was the first step in going retro. The breeze blocks allowed abundant light to flow into the two west-facing bedrooms. Removing the stacked rock veneers exposed the original chimney brick and exterior structural posts that were a signature design feature in the 60’s.

Interior design choices were made to affirm the mid-century vibe. The spiral fabric of the dining room chairs is a subtle ode to the cyclical journey taken to bring this house home.

Walls came down to open the former galley kitchen to the dining room, living room, and foyer. Travertine floors were excavated to accommodate all new plumbing and electrical. Porcelain terrazzo tile was chosen to emulate the original floors. The homeowners elevated the roof of the portico, accentuating the grandeur of the architect’s vision. A tri-level outdoor sculpture was added to the south side of the backyard, using Malcolm Leland’s signature “LS” cast white segment stoneware originally designed in the 1950s.

2414 S Caliente Drive

Unlike most in the neighborhood, this house was built more recently, in 1992, as a reimagined Spanish Colonial revival. Purchased by the current owners in January 2021, and named “MuyCaliente,” the house went through an extensive two-year remodel to reflect the modernist designs in the neighborhood. The redesigned, contemporary front façade was enhanced with a new standing-seam metal roof. The traditional-style double entry doors were replaced with a single pivoting modern version.

All windows and exterior doors were replaced with larger, simplified, engineer-designed openings that connect seamlessly with the outside. New porcelain tile flooring throughout and refinished walls reflect today’s modern aesthetic. The great room, dining, and living areas expand out to a reimagined backyard living space with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and new saltwater pool. The front courtyard has been meticulously reimagined with a new firepit/conversation area, allowing friends to gather and watch the sun set behind the San Jacinto mountain range. The spacious primary suite now offers a spa-sized retreat with elegantly updated function, fixtures, and detailing. The property has been extensively outfitted with a 13kW owned solar system, a pool-heating solar system, state-of-the-art patio misting and heating systems, Lutron lighting and shades, and a security system – all powered by a new home automation program.

2462 Yosemite Drive

Built in 1967, the architect was Ken Burgess, designer of the former Canyon Hotel. The casita was added in 1972. The house was originally conceived as a hybrid of the California ranch style with low-pitched roofs and neo-classical design with faux Doric columns and heavy crown moldings. After acquiring the house in 2020, the current owners embarked on a two-year renovation that included a complete makeover of the interiors and exteriors, stripping away the heavy, outdated detail and, in its place introducing a modern twist to mid-century design.

connection to the front door, was replaced by modern circular breezeblocks that serve as a thematic motif, introducing a touch of whimsy that plays with light and shadow throughout the day. The new, elevated firepit platform offers stunning views of the pink San Jacinto mountains in the morning desert sun. Modernizing systems included new windows, HVAC, electrical and lighting, pool control system, and a photovoltaic system. The pool and fountains are original.

The interior was brought down to the studs and the living, dining, and kitchen area were restructured to create a lighter and more open floor plan. Hand-troweled concrete floors were installed to create a bright unifying ground plane throughout the house that extends into the exterior patio, consistent with the mid-century aesthetic.

The interiors are a combination of modern and vintage furniture, art, and glassware, including authentic vintage fashion posters, framed scarves, and contemporary glassware.

2495 Yosemite Drive

YOASIS is the brainchild of Indian Canyon Estates developer Boris Gertzen (to be his personal residence) and co-designers Harold (Hal) Lacy and James McNaughton. The front facade originally had McNaughton’s signature arches. The 5-bedroom, 6-bathrrom, mid-century open plan home was built in 1965 but recently redesigned by its current owners.

This residence is an almost 5,000 sq. ft. example of maximalist “Bohemian Regency” style. Covered top to bottom in textured fabrics, fantasy wallpapers, and pops of fun color, it is a playful home full of luxury appeal yet designed for family living.
The owners’ vintage movie posters, brass statues collection, and mid-century fixtures are found throughout as well as more contemporary features such as smart-home lighting technology, electric shades, JennAir appliances, and custom furnishings.
A home bistro-style bar was added in 2022 and is the crown jewel of the living space meant for festive gatherings. The extensive grass yard, double classic cabana, and large pool space make for fun outdoor entertainment with a dramatic view of Mount San Jacinto.